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Information Fluency


This page presents an overview of the Advanced Skills and some examples of learning outcomes used to develop our students research and critical thinking competencies while studying at WCM-Q.

Information Fluency: List of Advanced Skills & Examples

Use various research methods based on need, circumstance and type of inquiry

  • Use PubMedScopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar for advanced search techniques and use trouble-shooting searches [see Box 1].

Value intellectual property, respect original ideas and adhere to academic integrity

  • Use EndNote to export citations from databases and format references.

  • Recognize plagiarism vs copyright infringement and use iThenticate when submitting papers/proposals.

Articulate the purpose of copyright, fair use, open access and the public domain

  • Understand the difference between open-access and traditional journals.
  • Explore copyright and Creative Commons license and be able to use them accordingly [see Box 2].

Understand that information might be perceived differently according to format and recognize the value of every information product in varying contexts

  • Recognize the data lifecycle, practical aspects of data description, storage and dissemination and use data repositories.

Recognize that the tool used to communicate information might impact the value of the information

  • Understand the peer review process.

Select, organize and restate textual concepts and main ideas in one's own words

  • Write a scientific paper or a review article.

Critically evaluate information sources

  • Understand citation metrics: bases, correct applications and limitations and recognize common metrics: JIF, Eigen factors, h-index, SNIP.
  • Identify and avoid predatory publishers by evaluating content, format and purpose of information.

Keep an open-minded and critical stance when encountering varied or conflicting perspectives and develop awareness of their own biases and worldview

  • Recognize the aims of a literature review; structure of a scientific research paper; structure of the introduction (review, "so what?" factor, problem statement); structure of the discussion (summary, answer the problems, comparison with other research); different kinds of literature review papers; reviews for grant proposals.

Value and evaluate contributions made by other

Actively contribute to scholarship and collaborate on projects

  • Prepare a literature review of a specific topic, reflect on findings by referring to a variety of resources.
  • Understand the different types of systematic reviews and be able to prepare one.
  • Prepare a manuscript by identifying a journal for submission, formatting papers according to the journal requirements.
  • Understand copyright and make informed decisions when deciding to publish in open-access vs traditional journals.

Box 1: PubMed Advanced Search Builder

Box 2: Creative Commons & Copyright

Long-Term Outcomes: Developing Metaliterate Life-long Learners

When IF skills are integrated in the curriculum, medical students will develop a series of metacognitive competencies that help them become lifelong learners.

Below is a summary of the attitudes, or long-term outcomes, our students should be able to exhibit once they graduate from WCM-Q and as lifelong learners.

Adapted from:

Mackey, T., & Jacobson, T. (2014). Metaliteracy: Reinventing information literacy to empower learners. US: ALA Neal Schuman.

ACRL. (2015). About the framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved May 21, 2017 from